View Full Version : 200mm lens Nikon V Caltar

Chip McM
4-Dec-2004, 13:24
I am looking at getting a lens in the 200mm range. The candidates being a Nikon 200/8 ($595) or the Caltar 210/6.3 (on sale for $400).

Any one with opinions or experience on these two?

I have readmany positive comments on the Nikon 300/9 but there is only minimal comment on the 200mm little brother.

The other alternative is Fuji 240 which I see is considered a classic.


Donald Hutton
4-Dec-2004, 15:05
The 200-M Nikkor is a much better lens. Coverage is modest though. If you are shooting landscapes and want a small light lens, the Nikkor is the pick. However, if you expect to need quite a bit of movement, I'd strongly suggest you get your hands on a second hand plasmat. The 210mm focal lengh is very common on the used market and you should be able to pick up a mint Schneider Symmar-S for about $300. It will be bigger and heavier than either of the lenses your are looking at, but will have a much larger image circle. It will also certainly outperform the 3 element Caltar.

Jim Rice
4-Dec-2004, 17:05
At those prices one could get a relatively modern lens (say a 210 Sironar-N) from any of the oft-named reputable dealers in 9+ condition.

Rich Long
4-Dec-2004, 17:37
If size and weight are considerations, then the Nikon M 200 can't be beat. I'm no expert, but I'm very pleased with the image quality that mine produces. Nikon lists it as having a 210mm image circle at f/22. That's enough for me, but may or may not be for you. Nikon specs (http://www.europe-nikon.com/specifications.aspx?countryid=20&languageid=22&prodId=505&catId=146 )

Kerry has a little discussion of this lens here (http://www.thalmann.com/largeformat/mid-rang.htm

Jim, the price of $595 is for a new lens at Badger (if I'm not mistaken). There is one of these at MPEX for $100 less than that - listed as a demo model. I searched EvilBay and all the usual sources for a couple of months before resigning myself to buying a new one. Of course, a week after delivery, 3 or 4 used ones became available.